Monday, 14 April 2008

Independent: Union accuses bishops of failing to help bullied vicars

Bishops are failing to support Church of England priests who are increasingly being bullied by powerful parishioners, according to a trade union.

Clergy are experiencing psychological, emotional, verbal and even physical abuse, according to Unite, Britain's largest union, but bishops are "crossing the road to the other side" rather than offering help.

The Church of England acknowledged bullying did happen but said it was "certainly not as widespread as suggested" by the union.

Rachel Maskell, of Unite, said the "pressures of modern society" were leading to an increase in cases of bullying of ministers by their own flock.

"A group of one or two powerful people in any congregation may not like the style of worship, the times of meetings and even when the main activities are taking place in the church," Ms Maskell said. "But these campaigns seem to get out of control and rapidly turn into a little campaign against the minister. Read more
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